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Wednesday, December 16, 1998 Published at 15:33 GMT


Sport

Curriculum vitae: Graham Kelly




[ image:  ]
NAME:
Graham Kelly
POSITION:
Former Chief Executive of the English Football Association

Also known as:
"Bunter" as in Billy Bunter, because of his portly appearance and ever-present spectacles.

Safe pair of hands:
The former Blackpool bank teller was promoted through the ranks of English soccer administration, reaching chief executive of the Football Association in 1988.

Leader by example:
Earned the tag of soccer's sleaze-buster after a string of scandals - the Sun's match-fixing allegations, George Graham's bung debacle, Paul Merson's cocaine habit and Kelly's own admission of corruption in the hiring policy of the FA - broke in the mid 1990s.

Unfortunately, Kelly quit his top job on Tuesday following allegations he overstepped his powers by promising a £3.2m loan to the Welsh FA.

Management quality:
Until his untimely departure, played centre-forward with the staff team - Kelly's Heroes - "because I'm boss".

Feet on the ground:
Bar the odd quip about being in charge, Kelly is a humble soul. He confessed his most wicked act to be having an impromptu kickabout in the reception of a smart hotel.

A self-confessed "smattering of ability, thinly spread," helped propel him to the dizzying heights of the FA. "I do not get by with flair or genius," he once said.

Straight-talking:
That is if you can make out what he is saying beneath those plodding, softly mumbled Lancastrian tones. His unremarkable delivery is heard to best effect during the annual FA Cup draws, often conducted on live television.

He was once described as having the "mournful demeanour of an undertaker on valium".

Always well turned out:
Although not exactly a natty dresser. Kelly once vigorously denied owning a pink shirt and said he was "living dangerously" if he strayed into cream.

Interests:
His leisure pursuits are as prosaic as his dress sense. Apart from a predictable penchant for football, his idea of a good night out is going to see Jimmy Tarbuck or Ken Dodd.

Keen advocate of equal opportunities:
Kelly has been a forceful supporter of the campaign to rid football of racism. He's also a big fan of the fairer sex. In 1997 he walked out of the Professional Footballers' Association awards dinner because of its "men only" admissions policy.

Good goal tally:
Even if some have been in his own net. Kelly's initial support for Terry Venables as England coach scored well with the fans and he continued to back Glenn Hoddle through troubled times this year.

On the debit side, his efforts to secure the World Cup tournament for England in 2006 have gone from bad to worse. His admission two years ago that the English bid had been a "terrible cock-up" seems like an understatement in light of the further damage done to the bid since his unceremonious exit from the FA.

Availability for work:
Bingo calling. Altogether now: "Noom-ber foo-er [Grimsby Town] Noom-ber wun [Bolton Wanderers]".




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